See Gas Facts
The modern blacksmith's anvil is a sophisticated tool developed over millennia of tool making. Like many iron age tools it has roots in the bronze age. The modern blacksmith's anvil has a hard heat treated tool steel face and a durable soft iron or steel body. The shape and size varies with purpose and regional stylistic preferences. The average blacksmith's anvil weighs 120 pounds (55kg). Universally most anvils have a flat horizontal face and a conical horn or "beak", but there are also hornless styles such as the sawyers anvil. Most anvils have a round punching hole and all modern smithing anvils have a square tooling hole called a hardy or hardie hole.
Other anvil features are less standardized such as:
See Selecting an Anvil.
There have been and still are laws in some places defining and regulating the relationship between apprentice and master. In some countries it is illegal to teach a trade or take on an apprentice, unless you have master's papers. However, in many places, such as the United States, the old apprentice system is an institution of the past.
See Apprenticeships in Blacksmithing.
The whitesmith works with iron or steel that has had the scale removed and traditionally was a decorator or finisher of forged iron work using scrapers, chisels and files. The modern whitesmith may also be one who works with zinc and aluminium by hand.
Today we have the "Artist Blacksmith" and the "Hobby Smith". These are taken from the German where they distinguish between the type of smiths.
These words go back to the earliest times and have similar translatable roots and often sounds in many languages.
English blacksmith, German (der) Schmied, Swedish smed, French (le) forgeron, Italian fabbro, Spanish (el) herrero; (el) forjador, Africaans smid, Portuguese ferrarius, Hungarian patrokolokovacs.
Bloomeries usually used a tall "Catalan" type furnace with an air blast provided by a pair of huge water powered bellows. The same water power usually ran a trip hammer that was used to forge the iron.
For details see Firearm Bluing and Browning by R.H. Angier, or Machinery's Handbook for formulas with less detail.
See Brass and Bronze FAQ
See Brass and Bronze FAQ
Density 2.25 g/cm3, .0813 lbs/cuin, diamond = 3.53 g/cm3, .1275 lbs/cuin,
graphite = 2.51 g/cm3, .0907 lbs/cuin.
Los Alamos National Laboratory periodic table entry carbon
The depth of the case varies with time and temperature and is approximately the same for both methods.
Carbonnitriding starting with low carbon steel (SAE 1008):
1 hour @ 1425 to 1450°F (734 to 788°C) results in a case .004" (0.1mm) deep.
4 hours @ 1425 to 1450°F (734 to 788°C) results in a case .011" (.28mm) deep.
1 hour @ 1600 to 1625°F (871 to 885°C) results in a case .015" (.38mm) deep.
4 hours @ 1600 to 1625°F (871 to 885°C) results in a case .030" (.76 mm) deep.
Heat Treaters Guide, 1982, ASM, p.25 chart (referencing Metals Handbook 8th ed., Vol 2, ASM.)
Average density of cast iron, 7.377 g/cm3, .2665 lbs/cuin, 460.51 lbs/cuft
"Charcoal" briquettes sold for barbecues are made from a mixture of ground charcoal, sawdust and bituminous coal bonded with a starch glue. It is generally not suitable for fueling blacksmith's forge. Real charcoal is sold in bulk for use in restaurants.
Charcoal is also made from charring bones. This produces "bone black" used in artists paints and is also recommended for case hardening
Bituminous coal is a soft coal resulting from the volatile content. Anthracite is hard coal that is low in volatiles.
See our coal and charcoal FAQ
American pennies, before 1983 were actually bronze, not copper. Copper is too soft and would wear very rapidly. New American pennies are zinc with a copper coating.
Average density of copper, 8.96 g/cm3, .3237 lbs/cuin, 559.35 lbs/cuft
Los Alamos National Laboratory periodic table entry
Copper Development Association
Average density of ductile iron, 7.27 g/cm3, .2626 lbs/cuin, 453.85 lbs/cuft
For forge welding the most common flux is borax.
In some instances powdered metal is added to the flux to provide easier joining. Powdered iron is used in some blacksmithing fluxes. Tin powder is used in some rosin based soldering fluxes.
A typical forge has a forced air source such as a bellows or blower to intensify the fire, a refractory lining or enclosure to hold the fire and a chimney or vent. Fuels include charcoal, mineral coal, heating oil or diesel fuel, propane (LPG), butane or natural gas (NG).
Commonly used to make weight of old anvils. See Hundredweight anvil calculator
The word "iron" is used loosely to describe anything made of cast iron, steel or wrought iron. In blacksmithing forging steel is often called "pounding iron".
Average density 7.874 g/cm3, .2845 lbs/cuin, 491.56 lbs/cuft.
Los Alamos National Laboratory periodic table entry iron
See Quenchants FAQ
0°R = -459.69°F = -273.16°C = 0°K = Absolute Zero
In English units, shrinkage is given in fractions of an inch per foot. 1/8" per foot, 3/32" per foot and so on. A 12" shrink rule at 3/32" per foot will be 12-3/32" long.
When a pattern is made, then cast in one metal to use as a more durable pattern for another metal (or the same metal) then a "double shrink" allowance is made. In most cases this is done mathematically by the patternmaker.
Average density mild steel, 7.847 g/cm3, .2835 lbs/cuin, 489.89 lbs/cuft
Units of measurement °F Fahrenheit, °C Celsius. Absolute - °R Rankine, °K Kelvin.
Temper colors are also used as a decorative finish or coloring of metal.
Average density of tin, 7.298 g/cm3, .2637 lbs/cuin, 455.62 lbs/cuft
Los Alamos National Laboratory periodic table entry tin
The ancients used a similar process using rope or cord to cut stone. The modern method uses wire.
Commercial abrasive cord is manufactured similar to abrasive cloth or belting.
|TYPICAL PHYSICAL PROPERTIES|
|Free Moisture, Maximum||0.5%|
|pH (of water slurry)||7.0-9.5|
|Expanded Bulk Density (normal)||4-10 lb/ft3|
|Mesh Sizes (normal)||2-40 mesh and finer|
|Specific Heat||1.08 kJ/kg.K|
|Thermal Conductivity||.27-.41 BTU.in/h.ft2.F|
See www.vermiculite.net for more information.
Wrought iron is also the description of decorative ironwork that is made of any metal including wrought iron, steel, cast iron and aluminium.
Wrought iron is also used to describe low carbon steel pipe.
See Wrought Iron FAQ
Average density of zinc, 7.133 g/cm3, .2577 lbs/cuin, 445.30 lbs/cuft
Los Alamos National Laboratory periodic table entry zinc
Average density of , g/cm3, lbs/cuin, lbs/cuft